Should I Choose My Life Mate After Knowing Him 5 Weeks?

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Reader’s Question

I’m a 21-year-old girl. I’ve had some boyfriends in the past but I hadn’t found someone to start a family with. But about five weeks ago I met a guy 4-5 years older than I am and started falling in love with him. We have many things in common and we have shared some special moments with each other. In this five weeks we spent almost every day with each other, and we have talked for hours about many serious things in life. He’s so honest with me and I know every little thing he’s said to me is true and I know him pretty well. He has a pretty good job and in the next 1-2 years will be able to start a new family. But he wants me to decide now if I want to stay with him or not. He thinks if we continue this relationship, then breaking up will be so hard for both of us. He loves me very much and I know he would do many things for me, but on the other hand everyone thinks I’m a special girl, and he’s so typical — and maybe in the future I will lose my passions for him. People think I’m so attractive and I will have some better chances in the future. But I think we’ll have a good future with each other, and he’s a clever and hardworking man. In these five weeks he has changed my outlook on the world.

The only problem is that I should decide right now. Right now I have other chances, extra attention in my office from a cute guy who has many things in common with me and has made me hesitant, but on the other hand I love my boyfriend and I’m sure about our future. I can’t risk it to break up and maybe never find my soulmate again. Do you think our love will last forever? Please help me to decide to stay or break up and search more. The third way is breaking up, deciding and coming back because he can’t continue with me while I’m deciding, but I don’t like the third way cause I think it will hurt both of us. I’m just looking for a certain and peaceful life and my boyfriend can make it for me. He’s hardworking and I know I can be sure about his love and support and I’m sure he will never cheat on me, because he had the opportunity and he didn’t. He believes in human rights very much and he’s so kind. I should decide to stay with him or not right now.

Psychologist’s Reply

Life is full of choices, big and small. With every choice we make, we give up other opportunities. When you took your job, you gave up chances at other potential jobs. When you choose a husband, you will give up other potential mates. So it is important to be sure. It sounds like your friends think you are settling, but they may have other concerns that they are not comfortable sharing with you.

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We really cannot know someone all that well after only four or five weeks’ acquaintance. Knowing someone well requires having lots of opportunities over time to see how they handle life: how they handle adversity — the big events, as well as daily stresses — and how they behave in a long-term relationship are only two examples. We need to meet the other person’s family and get to know them, and they need to meet ours. Seeing how his parents handle their marriage is useful in predicting how he will want to manage his, and meeting your family gives him the same opportunity to learn about you. This cannot reasonably be accomplished in four or five short weeks. There is no way that a person can have enough information to make this kind of decision this soon in the relationship.

Even so, there are many people (me included) who will tell you that they “knew” nearly instantly when they met their life-mate that “this is the one”. The smart ones, though, wait until they have more information before they make an actual commitment. In the meantime, one thing you are learning about this man is that he uses pressure and manipulation (the threat of ending it now) to get you to make the decision the way he wants you to make it. You might ask yourself whether someone who genuinely has your best interests at heart would be pushing you for a decision in this way. And you might also ask yourself whether you want to risk, if you do continue the relationship, experiencing this kind of controlling behavior on his part over future decisions you will face together.

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